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Russia, EU Urge ‘Inclusive’ New Government in Ukraine

Russia and the E.U. issued separate warnings Tuesday that Ukraine should not break apart on political or cultural lines following the apparent ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych.

As rival groups prepare to establish a new regime, divisions are emerging between Russian-influenced areas in the south and east of the country and western regions that look toward Europe.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for “national reconciliation,” and said he was alarmed at plans to ban Russian television channels in Ukraine.

“If such a decision is taken, it will be a serious violation of the freedom of speech,” Lavrov told reporters in Moscow, according to the Itar-TASS news agency.

He added that “constitutional reform needs to provide the participation of all the political forces and regions of Ukraine, so that the interests of all Ukrainians would be taken into account.”

“We are concerned about recently abolished language law, which allowed the national minorities to live and to work using their language,” Lavrov said, in an apparent reference to Russian-speakers.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton acknowledged strong links between Russia and the former Soviet republic, according to Reuters, but said a strong message should be sent about Ukraine's territorial integrity.

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Ashton, the first senior foreign official to visit Kiev since Yanukovych fled the city, urged Ukraine’s interim leaders to form an "inclusive" government, Reuters said.

Lavrov also pledged that Russia would not interfere in Ukraine's future - but warned the E.U. it must do the same,

"We confirm our fundamental position of non-intervention in Ukrainian affairs and hope everyone will adhere to the same logic,” he said.

"We agree with our [European] partners it is dangerous and counterproductive to impose a choice on Ukraine based on the 'you’re either with us or against us' principle. Ukraine has to be part of a global European family in the full meaning of the term.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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